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Interpol to vote for PA membership despite Israel lobbying

Interpol officer [file photo]
Interpol officer [file photo]

The International law enforcement agency Interpol is set to vote on Palestinian Authority (PA) membership despite intensive Israeli and US lobbying against it, news agencies reported yesterday.

Board of directors of the international police organisation, which is currently meeting in Beijing, is voting on whether to accept or deny the PA’s police force as members today.

The Israeli news website i24 said that “Israel is concerned that Interpol membership would enable the Palestinian Police to request ‘red notices’ against Israeli citizens, asking the General Secretariat to assist foreign police forces in locating them with a view to seeking their arrest or extradition”.

According to the Israeli news outlet, an Israeli official reported Israeli expectations that the PA would be accepted “despite narrowly losing a membership vote in 2016”.

Read more: Hamas criticises Abbas for continuing punitive measures against Gaza

UPI said that senior Israeli officials had worked with their American counterparts to find a way to prevent the PA from gaining the same status as the Israeli police.

It said that Israel tried to persuade Interpol’s leadership to tighten criteria for new members, as well as requiring a two-thirds majority approval.

During the previous meeting held in Indonesia Interpol decided to take no action regarding the PA membership as 62 members supported postponement, 56 wanted to decide immediately and 37 abstained.

In August, Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said the Palestinian police force had met the necessary professional standards.

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